Once they're up, John is drafted into the company's traditional Saint George and the Dragon mummers' play, portraying Saint George in a dark banker's suit with a red carnation and a bowler hat. Belching fire and brimstone, the metallic-red two-story Dragon has no difficulty dispatching the equally tall Blunderbore, but Saint George has a few surprises in store involving his brolly and a rolled-up Financial Times, and as the Doctor, Mark Jaster does amazing things behind a Union Jack in the course of going down to the cellar and back up.
It's a little tighter than The Christmas Revels used to be — not much shorter at two and three-quarter hours, but better focused. Most of the foolery is left to the Fool, in which role Emma Jaster would do justice to Feste or Touchstone. Indeed, the acting in this edition is uniformly excellent, the singing and dancing meet Revels' usual high standard, and there are, as ever, innumerable sly touches (watch for the take-away carton the Lord of Misrule — an audience member picked out at each performance — receives at the end of his reign), plus David Coffin in a Robin Hood outfit pulling it all together. At the end of the performance I attended, a twentysomething voice exclaimed, "That was awesome!" No argument from this corner.
READ: Our Christmas Revels reviews from 2009 |2008 |2007
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